The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai said on Sunday it has handed out fines of up to AED250,000 ($68,000) on shops offering fake discounts.
It did not name and shame the retailers but said "various stores in Dubai" had been fined for manipulating sales and promotions licences granted to them.
The stores were found to have violated the provisions for obtaining such permits and presenting wrong information on the discounted prices displayed, the DED’s Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division (CCCP) said in a statement.
The DED said the crackdown was part of its vigil "to maintain the reputation of Dubai as a business and tourism destination, ensure full transparency in business transactions, and control commercial fraud and its negative impact on customers".
The DED formed a special "double check" team earlier this year to verify data provided by companies against the price list approved by DED.
The team examined more than 16,000 products during the first half of 2012, and seized at least 800 of them that were being sold in violation to the data provided to DED.
The team was created after it was found that a number of stores had been providing inaccurate data and misguiding customers, especially tourists, claiming that they are offering up to 75% discounts.
Omar Bushahab, CEO of CCCP division, said that the DED will not allow anyone to jeopardise Dubai's reputation.
"The offenders have signed a pledge not to repeat the offence, and will compensate all those affected by their fraudulent practice," he said.
A committee has been formed to review future price requests from violated companies, he added.
By Arabian Business